Thomas Sowell, Economic Facts and Fallacies. An interesting — and at times infuriating — demolishing of all those things you think you know. Inequality is not bad and is probably not real. Women are not discriminated against in employment. More…
David Lodge, A Man of Parts. H. G. Wells is remembered today for The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine, but he was the author of tens of novels, active in socialist and other causes, and a lover of women, many women. In this biography as novel, David Lodge reveals both his inner and outer lives.
Elizabeth Bowen, The Little Girls. In this late Bowen novel, three women in late middle age meet again. They have not seen each other since they were little girls at school. Their memories of that time are strong, but their present intentions seem more than a little muddled.
Connie Willis, DoomsdayBook. This is not just time travel. This is history, experienced or imagined — it doesn’t matter what you call it — as it is lived, then and now. The young historian goes back to the 1300′s. Someone miscalculated. Epidemics rage, in both time periods. Will she survive?
Joan Robinson, Economic Philosophy. This is the last of the books I have read in anticipation of the “dismal economics” course this fall. Sometimes I get it and sometimes I don’t, Robinson’s economic philosophy, but the philosophy is certainly clearer than the economics. “Any economic system requires a set of rules, an ideology to justify them, and a conscience in the individual which makes him strive to carry them out.”
Joseph Roth, The Tale of the 1002nd Night. If Scheherazade and kept talking for one more night, she might have told this story. The Shah of Persia visits Vienna and sets into motion a series of events of dubious value. Some of the characters, like the correct but dim-witted cavalry officer, will be familiar to readers of Joseph Roth’s more well-known The Radetzky March, but other are more diverse. The mood is detached, cynical at times.
Connie Willis, To Say Nothing of the Dog. More time travel by the energetic Oxford historians (see Doomsday Book). The dog, Cyril, accompanies three men in a boat as one of them tries to repair a discontinuity in the space-time continuum which an earlier traveler may have caused. Don’t take it too seriously — a good time is had by all including, of course, Cyril.
Nancy Horan, Loving Frank. This is a novel about a scandal, a very real scandal about which the participants said very little at the time, although everyone else had a great deal to say. Frank Lloyd Wright, America’s greatest architect, went off to Europe with the wife of a client. Both left their marriages and children in order to be together.
Stacy Schiff, Vera. This biography of the wife of poet and novelist Vladimir Nabokov brings us into the details of the lives of two unusual people. He wrote. She was his typist, agent, adviser, translator, and muse.
I’m closing out the month early because we are leaving on a trip. Reading continues, but posting will be interrupted for a couple of weeks. Hasta la vista.